Cornwall Wildlife Trust welcomes today’s proposals to free public money for Cornwall’s environment

Tuesday 27th February 2018

The government proposals – which include money being redirected from direct farm payments based on the amount of land farmed, to a new system of paying farmers ‘public money for public goods’ – principally their work to enhance the environment and invest in sustainable food production - aligns closely with the Trust’s own ambitions; namely protecting and enhancing wildlife on land and at sea and re-connecting people with nature.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust welcomes today’s launch of a consultation billed by Environment Secretary Michael Gove to be a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the future of English farming and the environment”.

Cornwall is 80% farmland, so this must be managed in a way which provides shelter, food and nesting sites for wildlife. Cornwall Wildlife Trust is working with several hundred farmers across seven project areas, to support business decisions which boost food production as well as protecting wildlife.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s work with farmers often focuses on cleaner rivers for drinking water and bathing waters, using public money for public goods. In partnership with South West Water, the Upstream Thinking initiative supports and advises farmers on practical ways they can reduce soil and nutrients getting into rivers which in turn helps to safeguard Cornwall’s drinking water reservoirs.

As well as protecting the rivers – healthy and active soils also support a wider ecosystem. In particular, worms and insects in the soil are critical for the survival of farmland birds. The lapwing feeds exclusively on worms and insects and has sadly declined by 58% since 1970 in the UK.

Farming practices can however, help protect species and habitats and this is where Cornwall Wildlife Trust works with farmers to offer advice and funding. For example, a farmer near Helston has boosted wildlife in his silage fields by sowing thirteen different species of grasses, wildflowers and herbs. The flowering plants attract pollinators like hoverflies, which in turn support farmland birds and bats. This change also benefits the farm as the new species have deeper roots, which anchor the soil in place and stop it from washing into the stream. Additionally, some of the plants have medicinal properties for livestock, like birds-foot-trefoil which helps fight parasites.

Pete Warman, Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Project Manager for Upstream Thinking said “In our experience, farmers understand the need to manage the land sustainably to protect natural resources for future generations. Our support is well received because we focus on solutions which protect the environment and make good business sense for farms.”

The government consultation closes on 8 May 2018 and can be viewed here

To download Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s 2016 – 2021 Strategic Plan please visit

Cornwall Wildlife Trust continues to work with farmers and to benefit soil, water, and wildlife. For more information visit

Pete Warman
Upstream Thinking Project Manager
Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01872 302277
Mob: 07938 985419
Photographs (all credits to Cornwall Wildlife Trust)
Making changes which benefit farm business
Varied plant species in silage fields which benefit wildlife
Cornwall Wildlife Trust works with hundreds of farmers


Editor’s Notes:
Cornwall Wildlife Trust
• Cornwall Wildlife Trust has been protecting Cornwall’s wildlife, both on land and in our seas since 1962.
• It is the county’s leading wildlife conservation charity, with over 17,000 members which includes over 4,500 junior members and 160 Business Supporters.
• Cornwall Wildlife Trust has Local and Specialist Groups based around the county. All play an important role in the Trust’s work and are always looking for more volunteers.
• The charity manages 57 nature reserves all over the county, including a range of habitats such as woodlands, meadows, wetlands and heaths.
• The Trust runs a number of marine and terrestrial based conservation projects in partnership with others – these include Upstream Thinking, Penwith Landscapes Partnership and Your Shore Beach Rangers.
• The Trust hosts the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS).
• The Trust relies on charitable donations, grants and the generous support of its members and the general public to raise more than £2.2 million every year. Money raised is spent on wildlife conservation and education in Cornwall, for present and future generations.
• The Chief Executive sits on the board of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Natural Partnership who launched Cornwall’s Environmental Growth Strategy in 2016
• The Trust is one of 47 in the UK. Together, they make up The Wildlife Trusts.
• Cornwall Wildlife Trust also runs Cornwall Environmental Consultants Ltd – a consultancy business providing professional ecological, landscape and tree advice and consultancy services to developers, utility companies, landowners and farmers. 
• To find out more about Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s work, events and news visit
• Press contacts at the Trust: Chris Betty (01872) 302235

Editors Notes: 
South West Water 
• South West Water provides water and sewerage services to over 1.6 million people across Devon, Cornwall and parts of Somerset and Dorset. 
• South West Water maintains 9,221km of public sewers (enough to stretch from England to China) and 15,042km of water mains (enough to stretch from Exeter to Australia).
• South West Water supplies over 350 million litres of water to its customers every day.